Luther College Chips

Ben Rector “Lets the Good Times Roll”

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Ben Rector performs his acoustic style in the Center for Faith and Life.

Ben Rector performs his acoustic style in the Center for Faith and Life.

Kien Dao (‘20) | Photo Bureau

Kien Dao (‘20) | Photo Bureau

Ben Rector performs his acoustic style in the Center for Faith and Life.

Kristen Wuerl, Staff Writer

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Singer-songwriter Ben Rector played an acoustic concert in the Center for Faith and Life (CFL) on Saturday Oct. 7 at 7:30 pm.

Student Activities Council (SAC) Concerts sponsored the event as one of the two major concerts during the school year.

Rector played an acoustic set on both guitar and keyboard, along with fellow performer Cody Fry, who sang backup vocals and played both guitar and keyboard, too.

Rector and Fry played 10 songs during the hour-long show. They opened with “When I’m with You,” and followed with songs including “Men That Drive Me Places,” “When a Heart Breaks,” “White Dress,” and Rector’s hit single, “Brand New.” Rector and Fry performed “Sailboat” as an encore for the audience of about 700.

A few songs into the concert, Rector told audience members that Fry would take over the trumpet part of “Let the Good Times Roll.” Instead of playing the trumpet, Fry, in vocal-percussion style, sang the solo.

“Fry’s trumpet solo was really cool,” concert attendee Wylie Cook (‘18) said. “Fry and Rector meshed so well together on stage.”

In addition to talking and joking with the audience between songs, Rector offered opportunities for audience participation. The audience sang with Rector and offered suggestions when he asked them for a topic that he would use to create the final verse of “Loving You is Easy.” Audience members suggested that Rector sing about how he looks like Los Angeles Rams player Jared Goff, Rector’s experience at Luther, and cats. Rector chose to sing about cats.

Rector said during the concert he was excited to perform at Luther because his favorite album growing up was Dave Matthew’s and Tim Reynolds’s “Live at Luther,” which was recorded in the CFL in 1996. To commemorate this event and to express his enthusasism, Fry filmed a video of Rector with the audience in the background near the end of the concert. Rector posted this video on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Before Rector and Fry played, pop singer John Splithoff opened the concert. Splithoff played a 40 minute acoustic set of seven songs, including “Show Me,” “Torture,” “Stepping Stone,” and “Sing to You.”

SAC Concerts co-chair Hailey Mohler (‘18) explained how SAC Concerts brought Rector and Splithoff to campus.

“[SAC Concerts] invites everyone from our email list to come to a committee meeting,” Mohler said. “We compile a list of artists that people are interested in, but we try to keep it reasonably within our budget. From there, we narrow the list down based on artists we’ve heard a lot of, artists people are interested in, and artists we believe will be good to have at Luther based on who we’ve had in the past and who we haven’t had yet.”

After these initial decisions regarding artists, SAC Concerts sends the list to their middle agent. This middle agent communicates with different music companies and advises SAC Concerts on which artists they can realistically host at Luther based on artists’ touring schedules and SAC Concerts’ budget.

“[Rector] was our top pick from the final poll we took after narrowing down the artists,” Mohler said. “We felt he’d be the best choice [for Luther], and the committee seemed to like him the best, too.”

With Rector being the artist best fitted for Luther, the CFL was the location best fitted for his acoustic performance, as opposed to Regents Center where past concerts have been held.

“[SAC Concerts] decided on the CFL [for Rector’s concert] because of his acoustic performance,” SAC Concerts co-chair Kalie Kampa (‘18) said. “One person and a guitar sounds much better in the CFL than in a gym that echoes.”

Cook agreed that Rector’s performance stood out in the CFL.

“[Rector] sounds good live compared to other artists live,” Cook said. “On stage, you can see how he makes his music, and you can see why he makes his music. It was incredible.

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